RDW 2023: meet the young fashion designer Elena Vanghelici (LENCA)

It may be cool to recognise a well-established designer in a second, only after you see a cut, a print or a specific piece of clothing. But isn’t cool, as well, to find something new, interesting and so exciting that you want to see who design it? At Romanian Design Week 2023 it’s time to discover the coolest young #RomanianDesigners. Look closely at the new generation of young Romanian fashion designers and their interesting collections. Today, from the Young Design chapter of Romanian Design Week 2023, Elena Vanghelici (LENCA). 

#FashionBlogger #FashionTrend #RomanianDesigner #English

  • Romanian Design Week 2023 presents Young Design by DIPLOMA Show – the perspective of a new generation of architects and designers #madeinRo. The main theme is Connections and the section includes more than 20 artists.
  • Romanian Design Week 2023 is to see between 12-28 of May – https://romaniandesignweek.ro/.
  • Elena Vanghelici – @lencastories

What is the definition of fashion, from your point of view? What does it mean to you, personally?

I think fashion is and will always be the main indicator of cultural movements throughout history. An example would be if you look at a painting or a photograph, you can determine the specific period they were made, just by looking at the clothing. Fashion is about the human body and reflects perfectly the aesthetics of the moment and tells you the stories of time.

For me, fashion is a language that I find easier to express myself in. Most of the time people see only the result, but there is an entire process of trial and error to find the balance between your personal thoughts and the market’s trends. But in the end, I think that the most important thing, as a designer, is to give people that language of yours, so they could create their own stories.

What is the biggest challenge for a young designer nowadays?

There are many challenges nowadays as a young designer, mainly when you start building your own brand and try to overcome the first steps of the process. Those imply learning a lot of cross-skills such as: business planning, production management, a little bit of accounting, building knowledge on the laws applied in your field and the most important, marketing your brand to build a community around it. None of these are taught in school. Therefore, there is a whole package of challenges, but the biggest of them all, I think, is to make your story reach as many people as possible in the context of an ever-changing social media environment.

The icon piece that will always be in your collections is… 

I always make a statement black dress. Why? There are many practical and creative reasons too. The black dress itself is a piece that composes an entire outfit that is ready to wear without giving anyone a headache about styling, therefore it is a product that will sell no matter the season. It also gives you endless creative possibilities to play with cuts and textures in order to create a statement piece for your collection.

About the collection presented at RDW 2023…

The HelterSkelter collection follows the dominant artistic and cultural movements of the 60s that belong to creative communities, such as the beat generation, op-art, beatnik. The main symbol of the collection is “The Thinker” – the equivalent of the intellectual man, who has a counterpart in the 60s among the artists of the Beat Generation. Its purpose is to find the inner rhythm, lost at the moment due to the technological advance and the disruptive reality in which it lives. The prints and the structures of the textile materials used come to support the concept through the element of movement and visual effects created, following throughout the collection the idea of ​​rhythm.

What is next, for you, this year? Collections, personal projects, exhibitions etc.

Since 2022 I’ve been working on my personal brand, LENCA, that sums up my entire activity in fashion. I am trying to tell my story through this brand that has a very special meaning to me from the very beginning of its name. LENCA is a derivative name of Elena from Aromanian culture, which I am a part of. This name has been passed through generations in my family according to our traditions and embodies the core values that define my designing process: taking iconic shapes from history to keep the past alive but integrate them into the present aesthetics of womenswear wardrobe.

This year I plan to launch a more artistic collection in May at the Romanian Creative Week in Iași and a more wearable, derived version from it on the brand’s website, for the fall-winter season. This artistic project marks the detachment from the commercial trends and the return to a more conceptual approach, to ideas that were uppermost in my mind since my very first collection, my BA degree project, Helter Skelter. In this order, I’ve just received surprising news that I will be part of the Romanian Design Week with a look from Helter Skelter.

Last but not least, the most important event and achievement of the year will be opening a showroom this summer in Bucharest, in order to finally meet in person the community created around LENCA.

Elena Vanghelici

Young Design by DIPLOMA Show comes with a fresh perspective from the new generation of Romanian architects and designers, in a multi-disciplinary exhibition, “Connexion”. More than 20 exhibitors will present their projects (architecture, product design, graphic design and fashion). A selection curated by DIPLOMA Show.